Market for driver assistance systems to reach $165bn in five years

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The market for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is predicted to grow by 50 per cent CAGR until 2018, according to a report from Smithers Apex. Market value of these systems, which rely heavily on image sensors, may also rise from the current value of around $18.5 billion to $165 billion in the next five years, the report says.

ADAS use image sensors to improve a driver's safety on the road by offering features such as parking assistance (APA), lane departure warning (LDW), and collision avoidance systems, all of which can help the driver to gather information about the outside world. In order to offer these various features, ADAS embraces a number of technologies such as sensors, radar, lidar and integrated cameras to provide the driver with an all-round picture of their surroundings.

ADAS with vision-based inputs such as cameras offer particularly promising and unique opportunities to the image sensors industry, according to Smithers Apex.

Different types of sensors are being deployed in various systems today. For the environmental near and far-field monitoring around the vehicle, radar, lidar, ultrasonic, PMD, camera and night vision sensors are used.

Camera systems will see an additional boost in the near future, looking inside the car in order to analyse how awake the driver is. In the coming years, driver situation and prediction analysis will be used to better filter the various warning messages an ADAS system is able to generate.

In the US, the key safety goal of the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is to reduce the number and severity of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes. In recent years, the FMCSA has been in collaboration with the truck industry to test, evaluate and facilitate the use of on-board safety systems for CMVs in order to improve the safety of all road users. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)'s Safecar initiative will drive regulatory adoption of ADAS systems in domestic vehicles.

These developments have marked a step change in the need for ADAS systems in volume production vehicles. This has inevitably led to an increased employment of ADAS, representing a huge commercial opportunity for the image sensors industry. First and foremost, Euro NCAP's tightened safety requirements will boost installed ADAS equipment from single digit to almost 100 per cent over coming years, so it's no surprise that the call for a commercially viable solution is on.

With the major auto-vendors realising the huge potential in this market, many of them such as GM, Ford Motors, Toyota, and Audi are making significant investments to improve their understanding and implementation of ADAS systems in vehicles during production.

In addition, a number of independent technology enterprises have entered the market to provide ADAS solutions to on-road vehicles, driving up the aftermarket sales of this type of technology - also a booming market. Some of the major enterprises which are providing ADAS include Valeo, Continental, Aisin Group, Audiovox, Ficosa International, Hella and Hueck & Co.

Geographical analysis of the ADAS market shows that while the US and western Europe are still the major markets, a number of Asian passenger car producers such as Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai/Kia are also beginning to offer ADAS in their cars. In the near future, countries such as China, South Korea, and Japan are expected to make driver assistance systems mandatory, stimulating further growth rate in the market during the next five years.

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